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senator from a red state, a decorated and wounded combat veteran nominated to lead the pentagon while we are at war. republicans have never before felt the need to filibuster a cabinet member in the history of the country but apparently now this is the time and this is the guy worth waiting 224 years to spring it on. it has never happened before, but why not now? heck. the white house is not pleased. "today's action runs against both the majority will of the senate and our nation's interest. this waste of time is not without consequence. we have 66,000 men and women deployed in afghanistan, and we need our new secretary of defense to be a part of significant decisions about how we bring that war to a responsible end. next week in brussels, the united states will meet with our allies to talk about the transition in afghanistan at the nato defense ministerial, and our next secretary of defense should be there. for the sake of national security, it's time to stop playing politics with our department of defense and to move beyond the distractions and delay. allow this war hero an up or down
block. >> reporter: if you work at the pentagon, you could get one day off a week unpaid. leon panetta has warned congress, they're looking at these furloughs. if you don't work at the pentagon there are a number of other areas where you could be affected as well. take a look. the cbo said that we're looking at 750,000 job losses. small business loans down $902 million. the fbi could lose 1,000 federal agents. nutrition aid for women and children, over 500,000 could lose that. not to mention other programs that could go away like meals on wheels. >>> so, how will this midwest storm impact all of us? nbc meteorologist bill karins is here with the details. >> yeah, not many people will want to be traveling in the central plains today. jay gray in kansas city, two hours, it's going to be snowing incredibly hard in kansas city. now, as far as the radar goes, the blue is the intense snow. the pic shows you ice. the green is just plain old rain there from oklahoma city southward. if you're in the wichita, kansas, area, go outside, you may see some flashes in the snow, you have thundersnow at
will oppose hagel no matter what. >> i believe he's the wrong person to lead the pentagon at this perilous and consequential time. >> tea party senator ted cruz tried to gin up an old conservative bogeyman. >> i'd like to draw your attention to an interview you did in 2009 with al jazeera. >> but here's the real reason. these guys don't want chuck hagel in the defense department. this is the bomb bomb iran crowd. you see, mccain and graham have led the charge for possible war against the iranians as well as syria. chuck hagel sees war as an absolute last resored. it that's why president obama picked him. the two share similar views in philosophy as the obama administration attempts to define the role of the united states in the transition to a post-superpower world. their philosophy is this. the united states must get out of these massive land wars, iraq and afghanistan, and if possible avoid future large-scale war. despite all of the posturing and starcraft, hagel's nomination, well, is not in jeopardy. not one senator who previously voiced support for hagel has changed his or her mind. i
of the pentagon that i'm willing to do this. we are never again going to get to cut the pentagon back. the pentagon hasn't had any significant cuts for 30 years. >> josh green, is that the political equivalent of a liger, a lion and tiger combined to make an animal we have never seen before. rand paul and howard dean agreeing that the sequester should go through because, hey, defense -- >> hadn't occurred to me in quite those terms, but, yes, i suppose it could be a liger. >> there have always been contingent of liberal democrats that have wanted to go after the pentagon because its budget has grown enormously since 9/11. what you haven't had is a kind of republican analog. there have been a few people here, walter jones, congressman in north carolina, ron paul, in fact, was a big advocate of this, but only in the last couple of years, and really only in the last 18 months since the sequester cuts have loomed have you seen this tension between small government anti-tax republicans and pro-defense republicans. it's really a sort of tug-of-war between their two interests. traditionally
of the boy scouts decision, the pentagon is announcing a policy shift for guy service members and partners. leon panetta expected to extend benefits to partners of personnel. it remains doubtful that medical, down theal and housing allowances are offered under the new proposal. an extension of those benefits require the repeal of the 1996 defense of marriage act. >>> here's a first look this morning at your morning dish of scrambled politics. >>> the president should be used to cameras snapping away at him in the white house. but he read a statement about the economic plan he reacted to the distraction. >> what's up, cameraman? come on, guys. they're breaking my flow all the time. >> the white house released a photo yesterday of the president working with aides on a speech. coincidentally, the chief speechwriter seen on the right is leaving the white house. he's going to be taking his writing skills to hollywood. >>> a new action figure of president obama is on sale showing him with a shotgun. perfect for skeet shooting. >>> dick morris left fox news after an amazing series of wrong predic
. it is ugly and bad for his long-term image. >> running the pentagon is a hard job. it is one of the largest workforces in the world. there are strong centers of p power in that building. none of that has been litigated at all. i know they talked to al jazeera once. do i care if he is running the pentagon, as far as i can tell no one has done much in congress to sort that out. >>. >> that is not the person who takes the orders from the white house or decides what our relationship is with a foreign country. that is what they made the hearing about. even their fixation about benghazi is located in state. that has nothing to do with this job either. i totally agree. i liked the fact that he was an enlisted man and i fought in vietnam. it hasn't been about him at all. >> thank you both for joining me tonight. >> i will be joined ip rebuttal by someone who is on the nra's enemy's list. in the rewrite tonight. if there was no such thing as democrats. if republicans ruled the world would theyer are raise taxes? >> well there is a place where democrats don't exist and republicans today voted to rais
with us. nbc's chief correspondent. what are you hearing at the pentagon. >> officials knew this was coming although they didn't know the exact timing. this one has set off alarm bells, particularly because of the size of the blast. we're not relying on north korea claims here. south korea's seismic readings on the blast said it was somewhere about 6 or 7 kilotons, which could make it anywhere from 3 to 6 times more powerful than any previous weapon they set off before. north korea did claim they did this with a much smaller warhead, which would indicate they could be making progress miniaturizing a missile that could be launched at the united states. that's north korea and nobody is taking that seriously at this point and quite frankly, that's impossible to prove. within minutes, it seemed, after the blast was reported, the white house responded and president obama called it a highly provocative act that undermines regional stability and threatens ultimately u.s. national security. the president said it demands swift and credible action by the international community. that'
it all down is now the hard right battle cry. slash spending, short the pentagon. crew up traffic control whatever raises the noise level, bashes the democrats and lowers hope. is this the tea party dream? is this john boehner's version of feeding time at the zoo, giving the crazies what they want so they will sit in their seats and behave? is this final payment to insanity the last vestige of what calm republicanism is ready to cough up? but how else can you explain the readiness of the gop leadership to let this fraken stein's monster, it doomsday machine, this sequestration go all out berserk? how else can we understand the party of lincoln doing such economic damage to the republic, such damage and moral to the people. democrat ed rendell and republican michael steele. gentlemen, i want to start with you, michael, because i know you will disagree with me and that's what this is about. i read a lot of good reporting today, not analysis, but good reporting from your side of the aisle, further right than you i believe, that says, great, let's have sequestration. let's short the pentagon.
's a move that plays politics with the pentagon. senate republicans are blocking at least temporarily the nomination of chuck ha goal to be secretary of defense. first time that a defense secretary nominee has needed to clear 60 votes. it will further strain partisan. >> my expectation and my hope is that chuck ha goal who richly deserves to get a vote on the floor on the gnat, will be con first as our defense secretary. this kind of politics, it's unfortunate, intrudes when i'm still presiding over a war in afghanistan. >> there are still questions outstanding. i believe that senators have the right to have those questions answered. >> some senators said they want to examine information regarding the u.s. consulate attack in benghazi. majority harry reid plans to bring it up at the end of the month. >>> president obama again defended his administration's use of drones in the wear on terror. he did admit that the public should know about how the program works. >> what i think is absolutely true is that it's not sufficient for citizens to just take my word for it that we're doing the r
? >> at the pentagon. >> this is the first time hearing of this. when did this happen? did they make this decision on the cruise ship? >> no. no, they didn't. it actually happened in washington. >> really? that's fascinating. >> which is its own permanent port-a-potty. >> okay. mika, for those of us that were just sitting there looking at a cruise ship for 24 hours instead of following the real news, why don't you catch us up with what actually happened yesterday in the news. >> republicans blocked a vote yesterday that would have ended the debate and allowed for a final decision one way or another. democrats fell just shy of the votes needed to advance the process. something president obama chalked up to partisan politics. >> there's nothing in the constitution that says that somebody should get 60 votes. there are only a handful of instances in which there's been any kind of filibuster of anybody for a cabinet position in our history. and what seems to be happening -- and this has been growing over time -- is the republican minority in the senate seem to think that the rule now is that you have
are desperate to solve this problem. >> if you had a choice of saving the pentagon or playing golf with tiger, what would you do? >> i'd play golf with tiger. but that's two guys talking here. i don't begrudge the president two days off. he's earned that. >> he needs it. >> and the congress isn't there for nine days either. my point s neither side seems to view this as urgently as the american public. >> oh, no. i wasn't doing that as a subtle dig. i would golf with tiger and figure out a way to save the pentagon. >> maybe while you're golfing with tiger. maybe tiger had some ideas. i don't know. >> long time between holes on that course. >> good things happen when presidents are golfing with famous people. back in 1997 bill clinton got a phone call while he was golfing with michael jordan in vegas. he got the horrible news that -- true stroory. i get to say this because i'm a former politician. he got the news that if he did nothing, the budget was going to balance itself alone without any of his help. so he quit, rushed to the airport and came back saying, we have to do something fast so i
the pentagon. it has to do with he's been mean to president bush. he's been mean to john mccain. this process has said more about republicans than quite franklin it has said about chuck -- >> what about this issue of him -- is he going to be in charge of the pentagon? >> i think that is going to be the test for chuck hagel when he is sworn in fairly quickly and fairly soon as the next defense secretary. and i think there's no doubt he's going to go into that building and he'll take strong command of it. and that's what is going to be remembered. >> that is the toughest job in washington for the best and most qualified person and this process has weakened him, and his personality is probably not suited for this job. i can assure you of one thing. robert gibbs is going to be very happy he's not standing at that press podium the first time chuck hagel opines about the president's foreign policy and their disagreements on it. >> i can tell you there were a lot of reporters that were answering to be on this trip to brussels. >> the reasons that are being shown to hold up this nomination, it's not
thing is, running the pentagon is a hard job. people failed at it before. the largest bureaucracy we have in the government, one of the largest workforces in the world. i mean, it's a hugely complicated thing to do administratively, logistically, politically. strong centers of power in that building, right? i have no idea whether chuck hagel is up to it, nor does anyone. none of that has been lit gaited at all. he talked to al jazeera once, gave speeches to. the actual job the guy is going to do, i don't know if i have a dog in the fight. do i care if chuck hagel is running the pentagon? as far as i can tell, no one has done much in congress to sort of sort that out. >> and the one thing that job, is a policymaker. that is not the person who decides whether we go to war but takes the orders from the white house about how to implement it. that is not the person who decides what our relationship is with any other foreign country. those issues belong in other jobs. that's what they made the whole hearing about. >> no, absolutely. and even their fixation on benghazi is located in state.
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to be hurt by the pentagon furloughs. the first republican to travel on air force one since may. virginia's republican devastating cuts telling the president and congress it's time to fix it now. mcdonnell will join us later this house. >>> the white house admitted monday no talks or phone calls scheduled this week between the president and congressional leaders. instead yesterday for the second thyme in a row the white house press briefing featured a cabinet secretary issuing dire sequester warnings. >> i don't think we can maintain the same level of security at all places around the country with sequester as without sequester. if you have 5,000 fewer border patrol agents, you have 5,000 fewer border patrol agents. >> also almost gleefully confirmed that therer with no meetings that were going to happen. mcconnell's spokesman said, no, there is no active negotiation from the white house. that would get in the way of the president's campaigning. there is fingerpointing, a ton of it. >> the only republicans in the entire country rejecting a balanced compromise are republicans in this build
at the pentagon. hagel said he was honored to be the new defense secretary and that the pentagon does have a tough road ahead of it including dealing with sequestration. >> we need to deal with this reality. we've got ahead of us a lot of challenges. they are going to define much of who we are. not this institution only but our country. >> meantime, we do have major developments on the sequester issue today. the white house is saying that president obama will hold a meeting on friday with top congressional leaders on both sides including speaker boehner, nancy pelosi, harry reid, and mitch mcconnell. you would think maybe he could grab them on the side of the rosa parks statue right now and bring this up. they're all together. so it's the first time in years, though, this year that the president has a face-to-face meeting with republican leaders where they will directly discuss sequestration. i say again he's right there. this is a good moment. they're all applauding. why not talk about it now? we bring in today's political power panel. what do you think? why not talk about it now? can we put the
the nomination of chuck hagel for the pentagon. those stories straight ahead. >>> first, let's begin with rap, rock, r and b and pop all colliding for the 55th annual grammy awards. a good night for veterans like adele and jay-z. the evening began for the new artists, fun, gotyea and black keys. they got the coveted album of the year. juxtapositional star appearance, honoring bob marley and lee von helms. potential wardrobe malfunctions. the producers put out a memo and told them to avoid see through clothing and song type costumes. we'll show you which stars got the memo and which ones did not in the cooler. >>> in other news, president obama will deliver his state of the union tomorrow night. he's expected to push for more investment in infrastructure and clean energy. he'll zero in on the issue of the middle class advocating for what he described last week as a, quote, economy that works for everybody. tomorrow's speech is also going to focus on immigration, climate change and gun violence. big themes from the president's inaugural address last month. then on wednesday the president hits t
out of federal programs and the pentagon. 800,000 civilian employees have been told by the defense department that they will likely be placed on unpaid leave. with the house and senate still in recess, a number of democrats are calling for congress to reconvene to deal with this mess. secretary of state john kerry, meanwhi meanwhile, is reminding his former colleagues that actions here at home do have global implications. take a listen. >> it is often said that we cannot be strong at home if we're not strong in the world. but in these days of a looming budget sequester that everyone actually wants to avoid, or most, we can't be strong in the world unless we are strong at home. my credibility is a diplomat, working to help other countries create order is strongest when america, at last, puts its own fiscal house in order. and that has to be now. let's reach a responsible agreement that prevents these senseless consults. let's not lose this opportunity because of politics. >> you know, mike barnicle, politics is such a cruel, cruel game. seriously. there's one guy that gets to the to
in the pentagon budget, we put $300 billion into jobs, which saves teachers, which invests in school frukt, a and helps schools. >> congressman, mr. ryan and mr. mcconnell at the beginning of this year said quite clearly the revenues issue is now closed. it's off the table. there are no more discussions on revenues. >> so they would rather cut home heating oil for seniors -- >> yes. >> they'd rather cut women and infants and children. >> yes. >> food grams. >> yes. >> they'd rather cut things like that than ask rich people for more money? >> what about meals on wheels, head start. that's what they'd like to cut, this is correct. >> so it's brutal. it's cruel. and it will cause layoffs and we will see economic growth decline, and they're willing to do this just to protect the wealthiest few. and i think it's a moral outrage. i think americans of all stripes ought to stand up and say no. and this is why the progressive caucus members have offered the balancing act. because, you know, there is a way forward. there is a way to address budgetary and gdeficit issues ad invest in our economy. the
after appealing "don't ask, don't tell," the pentagon plans to extend some military benefits to same sex partners. exactly which has not been decided r decided, but they could include some health and welfare programs. >>> boy scouts of america announce a delay today. they will need more time to does whether or not to lift the ban on gay leader respect and scouts. the organization said it would take action at its national meeting in may.the organization take action at its national meeting in may. >>> and tulane university admitting to falsifying their reports. >>> gun control advocates had a lot of star power today on capitol hill. celebrities like tony bennett, chris rock and amanda pete all speaking up against the mars against illegal gun campaign. >> my sister practiced stern al medicine at an innercity hospital in north philadelphia. they see about 500 gunshot wound victims per year. that's one trauma center just in the neighborhood of north philly. and that doesn't take into account mortalities. despite these numbers, some people believe my sister should be prohibited from asking her
. they don't receive combat pay and it's absolutely ridiculous. so recently, the pentagon established that a woman that serves in combat is entitled to receive all of the things that go with it to show our country's appreciation. so it seems to me that if we're going to have a draft and i really believe that if we did have a draft set up that congress would not be so anxious to the democrats and republicans to put our young people in harm's way. >> tell me why you say that because you're introduced this legislation multiple times and it's clearly something you're very committed to. you bet your life because the people in the congress that allow these things to go on, they have no fear that anyone in their community and their families are going to be making any sacrifice at all. less than 1% of americans, most of whom volunteer for economic reasons paid the price in terms of 6600 lives lost, tens of thousands of people wounded. veterans, american veterans coming home, disoriented, unemploy unemployed, some homeless and no one pays a price. i submit to you, we would not be in iraq, afgh
're going to cut pretty significantly from the pentagon's budget. your move, mr. president. >> he wants revenues to go up again and john boehner's response is, we just did that. >> that's the thing. we always heard, you guys raise taxes, cut defense spending and then we will come back with a compromise on spending cuts. but, no, we raise taxes, we come forward with pentagon cuts and the president comes back with, we want to tax more americans. let's raise taxes again. >> you wonder where this ends now then, right, because if the president's not going to go anywhere without more revenue, where does this take us? we have the plan in place that was supposed to do both of those things. we're at that point on friday and we will hit it and neither side is going to get to it. what's the end game here. >> how do you think this is goin going? >> it's going terribly. >> republicans always lose these budget battles. i get a sense for the first time the president is overplaying his hand. talking about fear and loathing, locusts ascending from the heavens, now talking about more tax cuts, your dog w
the pentagon. like don't cut a single thing, but i'm going to go out, i'm going to keep talking about rich americans. i'm going to keep talking about corporations. i'm going to play to my base instead of talking -- telling middle-class americans they're going to have to make some sacrifices. along with the rich. it's that mika, it's a permanent campaign. and i guess if this is how he wants to run things, he's president of the united states, good luck over the next 3 1/2 years. >> i don't understand why loopholes are even an argument, first of all, why he has to go this far. why he has to keep talking about it. >> hold on a second. >> i know. >> we all agree that these loopholes need to be closed. >> well, let's do it. why is it so hard? >> i've been talking about supporting warren buffett's idea. >> why are we still talking about it? >> because the president only uses it to demagogue in a permanent campaign. he never talks about the other side of it. he always says oh, it's the rich. >> that would be loopholes. >> don't tax you, don't tax me, tax the rich guy behind the tree. >> steny hoye
to vote today on hagel's nomination to head the pentagon, but that vote has been postponed after republicans said they hadn't received sufficient information about hagel's financial records and specifically about any payments he's received from foreign sources. that's an odd hurdle given that republicans never seem concerned about foreign revenue sources when it came to nominees from george w. bush. one democratic official working on the hagel nomination told politico, quote, what they're asking is unprecedented, and it's clear that it's information that he's unable to provide. hagel says he can't provide it because it would violate confidentiality of the boards that he serves on. of course, critics say this is about more than incomplete financial records. so why are republicans really holding up hagel's nomination? aaron david miller is vice president for new initiatives at the woodrow wilson center. he has served as an adviser on the middle east to both democratic and republican secretaries of state. and joe klein is a columnist for "time" magazine. gentlemen, buzz feed pointed
here on earth. the former secretary of state was at an awards ceremony at the pentagon this morning with outgoing defense secretary leon panetta and joint chiefs dempsey. marks the first time we've seen hillary rodham clinton healthing since she left office and the first time since her accident that she has not been seen wearing those corrective glasses. back at the state department just moments ago the new secretary of state john kerry appeared with united nations secretary general ban ki moon, spoke about this week's nuclear test in north korea. kerry saying that it marks a clear threat to peace and security in the world. >> this week's test was an enormously provocative act that warrants a strong and swift and a credible response from the global community. >> keep hearing that word over and over. provocative. we'll see where it goes from here. that's going to wrap things up for me. on the show tomorrow arizona congressman ron barber, tennessee congresswoman diane black, and on the power panel we have jackie, chris, and robert. don't go anywhere, though. "now with alex wagner" is
clinton was awarded the pentagon's highest recognition for a civilian employee. clinton thanked the group for her valentine's day gift. we should note also for the first time since her accident in december, clinton did not have to wear those corrective lenses she's been using for impaired vision from her fall. >> in the future we will be looking to your suck -- to keep our nation strong, free and exceptional. >> and pope benedict xvi has given his final mass in a rare ovation from the people assembled at st. peter's kba silica. nbc's anne thompson is live with us in rome and i don't think we knew the full extent of the troubles he was experiencing in mexico, that final trip where he was in mexico and in cuba, we knew there were scandals in the church there, protests for lack of an apology. but now it turns out he took a fall in the middle of the night and hit his head? >> reporter: he did and it was after that trip when he wind chill factor to cuba that the pope made the decision he was going to retire and started setting the wheels in motion here for the announcement that came earlier th
connell's office? not quite. the senator bucked the question to the pentagon, and here is a look at the letter courtesy of "wired" magazine. i am writing on behalf of a constituent who has contacted me regarding guantanamo bay prisoners receiving post-9/11 gi bill benefits. i would appreciate your review and response to my constituent's concern. well, in some alternate reality where the whole thing were true, wouldn't it be more than a single constituent's concern that gi benefits were going to terrorists? anyway, somebody in mcconnell's office called it a humorous misunderstanding. you think? another headline on duffle blog's site reads, syria to host iraq war re-enactors. what people will believe. the gullible out there. >>> up next, the republican party has lurched too far to the right. it's one thing to hear a democrat say it, but a republican? and that's ahead. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. now, here's one that will make you feel alive. meet the five-passenger ford c-max hybrid. c-max says ha. c-max says wheeee. which is what you get, don't you see? cause c-max has l
. virginia, where the pentagon is, big navy installations, the republican governor is going to be suffering if the sequester goes in to effect. i was in utah last week. the government is the single largest employer including an air force base in the middle of utah with $1.2 billion in payroll per year and the governors of the red states are complaining about this pretty quickly. >> well, dan, first i want to ask you as a "newsweek" ambassador to explain the cover. will an asteroid destroy the earth? >> try to keep all the bases covered. >> yes or no there. >> wow. way to bury the lead. i can't believe we're talking about sequester when they're breaking that story. >> if you think the budget cuts are going to be severe wait until you see that. >> wait until the asteroid hits. >> big tease, dan. i want to ask about obama's strategy. recently over the weekend to sort of demagogue this hysteria. maybe he knows the asteroid is coming. forgetting the untruths of navy ships and criminals running wild in the streets because of the cuts, let's talk just about the impact of that kind of going back to
's pick to head up the pentagon. we will talk to bob carey about what all of that means. >> mr. president, we will stand and fight throughout this country as americans for our freedom. >> the gun rights groups say they are working to protect the second amendment so we are going to take a look at what rights the second amendment affords and which it does not. we start with developing news in florida where the white house confirmed that president obama teed off with golfing great tiger woods today. woods lives about an hour and a half from where president obama is vacationing. they will be on the course for several more hours of course. joining us on the course is tim rosaforte. you are at the resort with the president. what more can you tell us? >> the floridaen golf and react club in palm city, florida is where they played their round of golf. the president is visiting here through some friends of his in houston. he was introduced to the golf course and as a result of that has decided to take a golf buddies trip more than anything else. he took lessons from butch harmon and his son, claud
see it as an opportunity to slim down the pentagon while republicans are applauding real efforts to shrink the government. however, the white house continues to paint a dire picture. attorney general eric holder says the across the board cuts will make the nation -- listen to me -- less safe. >> oh my lord. >> the justice department is going to lose 9% of its budget between now and september 30th. we'll lose $1.6 billion. there are not going to be as many fbi agents, atf agents, dea agents, prosecutors able to do their jobs as we would like them to do. this is something that will have an impact on the safety of this country and anybody who says that's not true is either lying or saying something that runs contrary to the facts. >> cramer, real quick? >> the sequester is a real bad word. sequester because 99% of american people don't understand it. i hate to use the word on "mad money." i hate it. sequester. >> don't use it. >> you can't. >> birthday cake. we can rename it birthday cake. >> fiscal cliff worked. it had great imagery. >> did you see the story on the front page of "t
to oppose his nominees for top cabinet slots at the pentagon and cia. republican senator lindsey graham threatened to hold up those picks until the white house delivers more information about the attacks in benghazi. >> i don't think we should allow brennan to go forward for the cia directorship, hagel to be confirmed as secretary of defense until the white house gives us an accounting, did the president ever pick up the phone and call anyone in the libyan government to help these folks? what did the president do? yes, i'm going to ask my colleagues just like they did with john bolton, joe biden said, no confirmation without information. no confirmation without information. >> you are saying that you are going to block the nominations -- you're going to block them from coming to a vote until you get an answer? >> yes. >> now, john mccain has already think that he doesn't think republicans ought to filibuster this. what will you do? you're just going to put a hold on it? >> yeah, i'm not filibustering. this is a national security failure of monumental proportions, and i'm not going to st
in discretionary. we could actually clean all the waste out of the pentagon which is well over $100 billion a year. it still doesn't solve our problem. we cannot solve our problem unless we change medicare to save it and put a competitive model into our health care system that will allocate that scarce resource. it's really interesting. just yesterday the cms has finished going through all this bidding on durable medical equipment. and the statement coming from cms, for the first time, is hey, we just figured out competition works. about a 41% savings on durable medical equipment not just for the federal government but for the seniors who are going to be doing their co-pay. so competition works. and if it will work -- it works in this area, health care will work in the rest. we've just got to have a little pain. that happened to me as a child frequently with a popular switch. >> okay. well, there you go. >> there's a bumper sticker for 2014. >> chuck, good morning. senator, good morning. chuck, quick question for you. what are the odds you place on sequester going through and two, a government shu
apart and obviously the optics of being out of town when there's steep cuts to the pentagon and other government programs is not great but it's really an oversimplification of the issue. >> molly, what about the plan put forth earlier this week, the $110 billion plan to avert the sequester. is that going to gain any traction? >> i doubt it. republicans have already basically said that's dead on arrival and as jake said it's not like they were getting anything done here in washington before they went on vacation. there really hasn't been any progress. there are no negotiations, nobody's talking to each other. you have these one-sided plans being put together and then they sort of get lobbed over the fence and the other side says eh, no. we're a long way from a constructive dialogue happening between the parties on capitol hill. >> jake in a piece yesterday you wrote "house republicans say if they spend the next two years like they spent the past two they'll become irrelevant." who are the most prominent republicans leading this charge toward as you put it irrelevancy? >> toward irrelev
the president for lost funding in federal programs and the pentagon over ten years, should the sequestration take place. house speaker john boehner said, quote, today the president advanced an argument republicans have been making for a year. his sequester is the wrong way to cut spending. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell insisted "more than three months after the november election, president obama still prefers campaign events to common sense, bipartisan action." and joining us now for more on this from washington, the former chief economist of the international monetary fund and bloomberg view columnist, simon johnson. he's the co-author of "white house burning: our national debt and why it matters to you," now out in paperback. simon, good to see you this morning. >> nice to be with you. >> simon, if you could help us through this over the next week or so, it doesn't look like there's a path to avoiding the sequestration if you listen to the two sides. so how damaging would this be? because we've heard a couple different versions of it that would have immediate impacts, more than 75
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